Botanical Name :: Cucumis sativas
Indian Name :: Khira
The cucumber is a very popular and widely cultivated vegetable in India. It gives cooling and refreshing effect. It contains almost all the essential elements needed for the preservation of health. There are several varieties of cucumber which differ in shape, size and color. Its color varies from whitish green to dark green. It turns into orange, yellow or brownish yellow when it matures. Its sizes also vary from 8 to 30 cm. and above. Fresh, firm, smooth, regular in shape and dark green in color is the best variety for use.
Origin and Distribution of Cucumber
Cucumber is believed to have originated in northern India. It was known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and was available in China in the sixth century AD. It has now spread through out the world. Its areas of cultivation include northern and southern India, South East Asia, China, Africa, central and South America, the Caribbean and most tropical areas
Food Value of Cucumber
Nutritionally, the cucumber has a relatively high mineral content. Its skin is most valuable as the cell salts and vitamins are in and near it. Hence it should not be peeled.
It is also a valuable source of potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, silicon, chlorine and fluorine. The cucumber taken with vegetables, cereals, fruits, nuts and salads enhances the nutritional value of food items. It is generally used as a salad in combination with carrot, beet, tomato, radish, lettuce and other vegetables. The addition of some curd to the salad will make it a tasty food of great nutritional value.
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 96.3%||Calcium – 10 mg|
|Protein – 0.4%||Phosphorus – 25 mg|
|Fat – 0.1%||Iron – 1.5 mg|
|Vitamin C – 7 mg|
|Fibre – 0.4%||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|Minerals – 0.3%||* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion|
|Carbohydrates – 2.5%||Calorific Value – 13|
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Cucumber
The alkaline-forming minerals in the cucumber represent 64.05 percent and the acid forming minerals 35.95 per cent. This mineral arrangement invests the cucumber with definite remedial and curative properties. It makes it useful in maintaining the alkalinity of the’ blood. It also operates as one of the best natural diuretics, secreting and promoting the flow of urine. It should always be taken raw as in cooking potassium and phosphorus are lost.
- Constipation:- The cucumber is a dependable laxative food. It supplies bulk to aid bowel action. Those who suffer from constipation can greatly benefit by taking two cucumbers a day.
- Stomach Disorders:- The juice of the cucumber is a valuable food medicine in the treatment of hyperacidity, gastric and duodenal ulcers. It should be taken in doses of four to six ounces every two hours in such conditions. Sufficient juice can be extracted from a cucumber as it contains 96 per cent water. It gives immediate relief when there is a burning sensation in the stomach.
- Rheumatic Ailments:- Cucumber juice in combination with the juice of carrots, beets and celery, has a very beneficial effect in the conditions associated with accumulation of uric acid such as arthritis, gout and rheumatism.
- Urinary Disorders:- Cucumber seeds are rich in potassium. Emulsion of the shelled seeds has been found highly beneficial in the treatment of burning sensation in urinary calculi or stone in persons who are predisposed to such disorders. Emulsion of the shelled seeds, mixed with curd, is useful in dissolving the gravel in urinary tract and in reducing hyperacidity of the urine.
- Cholera:- A glassful of fresh leaf juice mixed with tender coconut water, given one or two ounces every hour, is a medicine for excessive thirst during cholera. It acts excellently by restoring the electrolyte liquid balance in dehydration.
- Skin Eruptions:- Cucumber juice has proved effective in skin eruption. For better results, juices of carrot, lettuce should be added to this juice. Further, addition of little alfalfa juice in some cases can help to speed up their efficacy.
- Beauty Aid:- Grated cucumber applied over face, eyes and neck for 15 to 20 minutes has been found effective as a beauty aid and a best tonic for the skin of the face. Its regular use prevents pimples, blackheads, wrinkles and dryness of the face. Cucumber juice promotes hair growth due to its high silicon and sulphur content, particularly when mixed with carrot, lettuce and spinach juice.